Pacino and Scorsese added to the list of Ponzi scheme victims | AccountingWEB

Pacino and Scorsese added to the list of Ponzi scheme victims

Al Pacino, who may be best known for the Godfather movies about the notorious Corleone mob family, is now finding he's up against a real foe... the Internal Revenue Service. Public documents show Pacino owes the IRS nearly $188,000.

IRS documents show that 70-year0old Pacino owes $169,143.06 relating to income from 2008 and $19,140.44 relating to income from 2009.

Pacino's films - which included not only the Godfather movies, but Scarface, Serpico, and a long list of others spanning from the 60s to the present day - have grossed more than $1 billion over the last few decades. But fame and financial success apparently did not provide shelter from tax trouble. In fact, sometimes these are the very conditions that invite such a dilemma.

Pacino's representative told reporters that the actor did not intentionally fail to pay his tax bill.  Like many fellow performers and other well-known individuals, Pacino says he became of victim of Kenneth Starr's financial hocus pocus. Pacino is working with the IRS to clear up the issues.

Similar tax woes may await another Starr client, film director Martin Scorsese, according to a report in the Daily Mail.  Scorsese attributes his financial debacle to his connection with Kenneth Starr.   Because of Scorsese's tax liability, if he fails to pay the amount owed, the IRS will be allowed to take profits from any sales of property made by the director.

Tax trouble is not new to Scorsese. Even before he began working with Starr, in 2002-03, the IRS hit him with three liens for approximately $1.9 million. In 2004, New York State handed him a tax bill for $149,437.  These debts have now been paid.

Perezhilton.com published what it describes as an exclusive statement from Scorsese's representative saying: "Mr. Scorsese does not owe the IRS any money whatsoever. All of his liabilities have been paid in full. It is unfortunate that the IRS filed this lien prematurely. The IRS is releasing the lien and that will be publicly recorded within a few days."

As for Starr...

He was convicted earlier this month of operating a multi-million dollar Ponzi schme, after pleading guilty to defrauding nine wealthy and elderly clients. In addition to Pacino and Scorsese, his victims include Lauren Bacall, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Uma Thurman, Dianne Sawyer, Jack Nicholson, Sylvester Stallone, Ron Howard, Annie Leibovitz, Wesley Snipes,  Goldie Hawn, Candice Bergen, and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

From 2005 to 2010, Starr is accused of participating in fraudulent schemes that involved more than $33 million in actual or intended losses, according to prosecutors. Between March 2009 and April 2010, Starr was accused of stealing millions of dollars from his clients and doing this by directing unauthorized transfers of funds from his clients' accounts to one of two attorney escrow accounts and causing funds to be transferred from the attorney escrow account for his benefit. It has been determined that Starr used these escrow accounts in order to conceal the true source of the funds as well as his unlawful activity.

In early March, Starr was sentenced to 90 months in prison for his crimes.

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